Giffnock Shul celebrates 75 years.

250 people packed into Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation’s banqueting suite to celebrate the Synagogue’s 75th anniversary on the evening of  Sunday 6th September 2009.  The event served as an opportunity to celebrate the success of its congregants both in the local and wider Jewish community.

In 1934, a small group of Jews who had migrated to the suburb of Giffnock on Glasgow’s south side, formed a Congregation and met to pray in the local court buildings.  The community grew, established a permanent Synagogue which it further outgrew, and 75 years on, the 800 strong Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation celebrated the anniversary of it’s founding at its present Synagogue in Maryville Avenue.

Visitors came from Manchester, London, Israel and even Australia. The current Minister, Rabbi Moshe Rubin, welcomed the guests and Emeritus Minister, Rabbi Philip Greenberg, led Grace after Meals.  The formal address was given by Dayan Ivan Binstock of the London Beth Din and St Johns Wood Synagogue. 

There was no shortage of entertainment.  Wonderful memories of his time in Giffnock before aliyah, were told by Arnold Rabinowitz.  Musical entertainment was offered by two young members, Adam Gerber and Max Bercott and humour was provided by “The Two Strangs”, David and Raymond.

The evening was also a poignant time to reflect on the lives of those who had served the community over the years, particularly Reverend Ernest Levy, Chazan of the Shul for over 30 years who sadly passed away in the previous fortnight and Reverend Avrom Gamzu, who served the Shul and Community for over 40 years in many roles and who sadly passed away on the night of the Shul’s 60th anniversary celebration..

Philippa Sneader, main organiser of the event, produced an anniversary brochure together with a photographic timeline of the community’s development which will become a permanent feature in the Shul.  This display was put together with the assistance of Harvey Kaplan and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, collating information and photos right back to the first ever recorded minutes in 1934.

The Chairman of the Congregation, Raymond Strang, expressed his hopes for the continued development of the community in the future.